We all have experienced those moments when something goes wrong and we automatically goes into a tailspin of blanket judgments. Those judgements can range from mild self-criticism to severe “I suck or I am worthless” kind of self-flagellation. In some respect, some sort of accountability of our actions and behaviors is useful in acknowledging mistakes, learning from them and figuring out how not to repeat them in the future.
But it is the blanket judgmental attitude, especially if carried over a longer period of time that poses a bigger risk to our mental well-being. A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences indicated that, “…a judgmental attitude towards one’s thoughts and feelings is the strongest predictor of both depression and anxiety”.
Previous research also supports the idea of cultivating non-judgmental attitude towards our thoughts, feelings and emotions to cultivate well-being. There is a rational explanation why being kind to yourself, especially when you feel you have messed up seriously, could allow you to make more rational decisions during those stressful times.
Make a determined effort to observe your thoughts, emotions and behaviors in a spirit of knowing and acknowledging them and every time you feel the impulse to judge them, deliberately dial it down.
Be kind to yourself, even a tiny bit would help.